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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power Audiobook
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Written by: 
Jon Meacham
Narrated by: 
Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power Audiobook

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

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Publisher's Summary

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things - women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris - Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity - and the genius of the new nation - lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President’s House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion.

The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.

©2012 Jon Meacham (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Jon Meacham resolves the bundle of contradictions that was Thomas Jefferson by probing his love of progress and thirst for power. This is a thrilling and affecting portrait of our first philosopher-politician." (Stacy Schiff)

"This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today." (Doris Kearns Goodwin)

"Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power is a true triumph, a brilliant biography. Jon Meacham shows how Jefferson's deft ability to compromise and improvise made him a transformational leader. We think of Jefferson as the embodiment of noble ideals, as he was, but Meacham shows that he was a practical politician more than a moral theorist. The result is a fascinating look at how Jefferson wielded his driving desire for power and control." (Walter Isaacson)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 06-07-13
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wonderful!"
    What made the experience of listening to Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power the most enjoyable?

    An excellent historical biography that underscored the central theme--Jefferson as one masterful in marshaling and using power.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the intricate details that highlighted the biography as told through letters and anecdotes.


    Any additional comments?

    Herrman's craft in telling the story is exemplary--very easy to listen to and very entertaining!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kwt 05-20-13
    kwt 05-20-13

    mama_karen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love anything about TJ"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the listen because I love hearing about Thomas Jefferson but I cannot say the book was "exciting." It was long, and at times wordy but I will probably listen to it again. Anyone who does not enjoy history would probably be bored with it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Sandy Ridge, NC, United States 02-19-13
    Paul Sandy Ridge, NC, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Great story... Great Narration"

    "All men are created equal"... Mr Jefferson maybe the exception to his own rule. This book should be on the top of anyones reading list for the life and times of Thomas Jefferson, the founding fathers and the fledgling years of these United States of America.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Chandler LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, US 01-22-13
    David Chandler LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, US 01-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Our Greatest Founding Father"
    If you could sum up Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power in three words, what would they be?

    Skilled, Brilliance Honesty


    What did you like best about this story?

    How impassioned he was.


    What does Edward Herrmann and Jon Meacham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A richness of details.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    His integrity was the cornerstone of the republic.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert R Mowrer Eugene, OR United States 01-07-13
    Robert R Mowrer Eugene, OR United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Entertaining listen--excellent story"
    What did you love best about Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power?

    The story of the Jefferson--a very interesting person, politician and more


    What other book might you compare Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power to and why?

    The story of Thomas Jefferson and the writing of Meacham compare to the best fiction I have read. The story of Jefferson is as interesting as the best fiction. I have not read another non-fiction that can compare to Thomas Jefferson


    Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann and Jon Meacham ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to list.


    Any additional comments?

    Should be required reading for high school US history students.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Mendham, NJ, United States 12-25-12
    Philip Mendham, NJ, United States 12-25-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Fantastic book on Jefferson"

    This was a very balanced and enjoyable. The book was of those that make you feel part of the time, yet give you the distanced perspective. The readers style was very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Franklin Danbury, CT, United States 12-14-12
    Franklin Danbury, CT, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Excellent Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Fantastic biography. When I finished the book I became emotional as it was like I was loosing a close friend.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Denver, CO, United States 12-14-12
    David Denver, CO, United States 12-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A somewhat sympathetic treatment and very thorough"
    Where does Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ranked in the top quarter of my audio books this year.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I don't recall a variety of voices in this performance, Thomas was the focus.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann and Jon Meacham – was your favorite?

    I came for the knowledge of Jefferson and felt I received a great deal of that here.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Perhaps undeserving of the reverence heretofore granted this founding father.


    Any additional comments?

    This book, combined with a recent article in "Smithsonian," has dethroned this former hero of mine. Jefferson is revealed as a duplicitious schemer, rabid partisan and bigot. His performance as president seems lackluster, with his crowning achievement, the Lousiana Purchase, having fallen in his lap.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin United States 12-13-12
    Kevin United States 12-13-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Great book...way too long"
    What did you love best about Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power?

    I learned a lot about this time period and Thomas Jefferson's contribution to the creation of the United States, but I think this book could have been condensed several hours at a minimum. Not sure if an abridged version exists, but would recommend it.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 12-11-12
    Gary 12-11-12
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    "An eye opener."
    What made the experience of listening to Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power the most enjoyable?

    It is amazing how advanced America was 200 years ago compared to now.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power?

    His overall knowledge and wisdom.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Each and every one.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no.


    Any additional comments?

    no

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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